Many people who are unable to drive because of physical disability or medical conditions have to rely on public transportation. However, the public transportation options in Denver are limited, and many people simply live too far to access bus or light-rail routes. According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), this is known as the first last/mile problem. Many cities have turned to rideshare companies to connect transit with passengers.
RTD and Uber in Denver
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) announced a partnership with Uber in a pilot on-demand program for customers in need of paratransit options. Access-A-Ride provides paratransit services, including for passengers in a wheelchair who may not be able to easily ride in standard vehicles. Customers must use the Uber app to book a ride, and have the ability to choose wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs).
The limited pilot program runs through November and is only available for people in Denver zip codes ending in 80013 through 80016. The rides are available during weekday service in the morning and afternoon 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Riders are allowed up to 4 trips per day and 60 trips per month. Riders pay $2 per ride, charged to their Uber account payment method. RTD covers up to $20 additional fare, with the passenger paying any additional fees.
According to the head of Uber Transit, “We are thrilled to partner with Denver RTD to provide on-demand public transit to even more riders in the Mile High metropolitan region. With this launch, Denver is the first city in the world to launch Uber Transit Journey Planning and transit ticketing in the Uber app while also leveraging Uber's software to provide the most equitable, connected and accessible transportation possible.”
First and Last Mile in Centennial
Between August 2016 and February 2017, the Go Centennial pilot program worked with transportation services and Lyft to address first and last-mile problems. This was a partnership with public agencies and private businesses to get travelers to and from transit stations. The pilot program used an on-demand and demand-responsive mobile platform to provide transportation connections to and from the RTD station in Centennial.
Safety for Paratransit Riders
The partnership with Uber can provide another option for passengers with limited transit options. However, it is important for passengers to understand the limits of taking rides with Uber drivers. Uber drivers have minimal requirements to be approved by the rideshare company. Uber Drivers do not need special training and do not need anything more than a driver's license, vehicle, and insurance. Traditional commercial drivers need to go through special training and are held to higher standards for safety.
Make sure you understand the risks associated with getting into a vehicle with a stranger. Make sure you understand the insurance coverage available and how to make a claim if you suffer an injury. If you meet any resistance with Uber, the Uber driver, or the insurance company, you can reach out for help.
How can you protect yourself if you get into an Uber accident and need help? An injury accident can cost the victim thousands of dollars in vehicle repairs, hospital bills, and lost wages. Contact our Denver accident attorneys to fight for your rights and recover the full compensation available.